Industria Chimica Panzeri was founded in the early 1930s just before World War II by Andrea Panzeri and his wife Maria, and specialised in the production and marketing of detergents. It was a small business originally situated in the urban context of Bergamo, more specifically in Via Carnovali, before taking on a more industrial role in the mid-1960s.
In the post-war period, the company’s success and continuous expansion on the detergent market with the well-known Bucaneve and Kappa brands led to the construction of a new factory in Via Cavour 18, Orio al Serio, occupying an area of 32,000 square meters, of which 15,000 under cover, and the incorporation of Chimica Panzeri S.r.l. (initially Industria Chimica Panzeri GF). The company officially opened its doors on 9 January 1967, but its name was actually entered in the Chamber of Commerce Companies Register in 1965.
The constant search for innovation was initially accompanied by the need to produce internally a component of formulated detergents (in particular Octylphenol and Oxyethylated Nonylphenol). This pushed the owner and in particular the main mentor and founder of the new company, namely Dr Gianfranco Panzeri, the son of Andrea and father of the current Chairman and CEO also called Andrea, as well as Serena Panzeri (Administrative Manager) and Francesca Panzeri (the company’s legal consultant), to gradually insert a new production line for products based on the processing with ethylene oxide for the synthesis of non-ionic surfactants, used as auxiliaries and intermediates in the textile, tanning, cosmetic, detergent, agrochemical, polymerization, building, and metal-working industries and in the treatment of surfaces, plastics….and much more.
Gianfranco Panzeri’s skills, experience and professionalism, combined with his dedication to the family business, have allowed the company to develop continuously and to earn an important position in the field of chemical auxiliaries.
Another breakthrough for the company in commercial terms and in the Italian chemical industry came in the last 7-10 years with the advent of another Andrea (current General Manager, grandson of the first and son of Dr Gianfranco). After twenty years of experience working as a production manager, with visionary spirit and foresight he structured the company’s technical and commercial aspects turning it into one of the most important companies in Lombardy, reaching levels unimaginable until a few years ago. The company became less provincial and now competes with giants and multinational companies in the sector, which are certainly much better equipped and structured in terms of money and personnel. This all went hand-in-hand with an Asian-style expansion that has few precedents or comparisons in Lombardy.
This was made possible by the inclusion on several levels, both administrative and technical, of specialised collaborators, consultants and experts, and with the support of close collaborators (including Dr Matteo Licini, current Technical Manager and Plant Manager) who understood the dynamics of the company.
Following the evolution of the production range (through a work of differentiation and specialisation at an intermediate level), as well as strategic outsourcing, integrated trading, joint venture agreements, partnerships with co-producers and partial corporate and commercial partnerships to increase the production capacity, ICP has emerged as a low cost alternative, and the Lombard response to multinational companies. This has enabled it to find business opportunities in a more cosmopolitan catchment area, compensating for the gradual saturation of the Italian market.
In recent years, the company has progressively consolidated its presence in the Far-East, Middle-East, South America, Central America and Northern and Southern Africa, in addition of course to strengthening its historical position at a national and European level (mainly in Spain, Russia and the Former Soviet Republics, UK, France, Germany, Central Europe and Eastern Europe).
In particular, through direct sales, strategic agreements with local distributors and traders, internal upgrading and structuring of the sales management, which was recently integrated or rather enriched by the acquisition of prominent Italian leaders in the industry (such as Ennio Romano’, General Sales Manager with past experience in Henkel and Sabo; Marzia Sironi, Sales Division Manager with past experience in Henkel and DPC/Sasol; Gabrio Giurini, Strategic Oleochemicals Manager who worked at Lamberti, Oleofina and Temix-Oleo; Massimo Panzeri, Purchasing Manager; Domenico Curone, R&D Lab Manager with experience at Lamberti and Erca; Tamara Morotti, Regulatory Manager), and the gradual expansion of the agency and representative networks, ICP has found a permanent place in the elite Italian industry of chemicals and in particular non-ionic surfactants (a category of products that only a few Italian companies can produce) and intermediates for the textile, tanning, detergent, building, polymerisation in emulsion, plastic and metal working, agrochemical, car-washing, galvanic and rubber, fine chemical and personal care industries and particularly tailor-made intermediates and Base Blends for the cosmetic, trichological and hair care industries.
The unstoppable growth of the group, now steady at a turnover of 55-60 million euros, has always focused on the search for futuristic and forerunning solutions in terms of quality and production knowhow. These aspects have enabled ICP to become the leading alternative to top-class products. Its competitiveness compared to multinational companies in the industry has allowed it to eat into the market slice of the latter, made possible by proven high quality products, sound technical expertise and an exceptional commercial penetration, also facilitated by an extremely flexible system that can meet every customer need, regardless of their size and magnitude.
Another significant aspect of ICP is that it achieved all of these goals with a focus on the environment and the delicate issue of safety. For the future, the management plans on implementing eco-sustainable solutions at a RSPO level in some areas and on obtaining specific certifications (GMP and GMP Plus). It also wants to improve and find, through the use of an internal team of experts (including Dr Dino Bronzi, the famous exponent with long experience at Eigenmann & Veronelli), design and plant-engineering solutions to develop, optimise and reduce by-products, to save energy and reduce environmental emissions.
ICP is also a producer (second in Europe in volume terms) of stannous sulphate (used in the electrolytic colouring of aluminium and in the cement industry as a reducing agent for hexavalent chromium in clinkers or more refined cement) by electrolytic and galvanic process, which is sold by a subsidiary company.
This represents a diverse and complementary segment to the company’s core business, which is still the production of oxyethylated non-ionic surfactants.